1. Begin with prayer!
Pray that God moves through the watch party and that people would grow in their faith, their friendships, and take a next step. 🙏
2. Invite others!
This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth saying…you need to officially invite other people to watch with you! Send out some invitations and make it an event. Invite your best friend, your neighbors, some co-workers, the cashier at Publix you always talk with, or even members of your Bridge Group if you’re in one. The goal is to not watch alone. You and your dog (as cute as it may be) don’t count as a watch party. 🐶
3. Create a welcoming environment.
When creating that welcome home feel, remember that “everything speaks.” Take some time to clean your house and be prepared for your guests. Maybe even light a candle or run a diffuser to create a welcoming atmosphere! Pay attention to the details and how you can make others feel at home. 🏡
4. Cut out distractions.
Hosting a watch party may require you to take a few extra steps to cut out as many distractions as possible. Do your best to minimize any distractions that might make it difficult to fully engage in worship. (Home devices, Amazon Echo, Rambunctious Pets, etc.) Maybe even challenge everyone in the watch party to do the impossible and leave their phones in another room! 📱
5. Keep it casual.
Don’t be stiff or too formal. Be relaxed and don’t put a false burden or pressure on yourself. You may not be in a “church building”, but the Church has never been about a location. The mission hasn’t changed. Jesus hasn’t changed. Only the location has changed. Keep it comfortable, but maybe for everyone else’s sake, be sure to put on some pants! No one needs to see your tighty whities. 😆
6. Feed the masses!
Take the Jesus approach to hosting a great party: offer good food and then turn that water into wine! Okay, maybe it doesn’t have to be wine, but at least offer something delicious…coffee, tea, soda, Milo’s sweet tea (we are in the South, after all). Put out some appetizers and snacks, or even go all-out and prepare a meal! ☕️
7. Have a solid internet connection!
How’s that internet? Make sure you’ve got a solid connection to the World Wide Web. Pro tip, test everything ahead of time and make sure it’s all working. If not, this gives you some time to troubleshoot or call someone for help! Also, the best viewing experience for everyone will be to put the live-stream onto your TV. If you have a smart TV, YouTube and Facebook both offer apps that allow you to stream directly from The Bridge Church channel and page. You can also use a utility like Apple Airplay or Google Chromecast to send the feed from a phone/laptop to your TV. Another great way to get a reliable connection on your TV is to go wired in direct with an HDMI cable. At any rate, do whatever it takes to get the best viewing experience possible for everyone! 💻
8. Don’t forget about the kids.
Childcare may not be an option, so be prepared to have Bridge Kids ministry activities ready and encourage the kids to participate in worship. The Bridge Kids family guide is your best friend here! (Visit: bridge.tv/familyguide) As an added bonus, you might even have families arrive early enough to allow the kids to view their worship material while adults mingle. 👶
9. Set the pace!
Lead the group by first leading yourself and be prepared to worship. You go first, and give others the ability to go second. Allow the Spirit to lead you just as you would in the church building. Amen the pastor. Sing your lungs out like you’re auditioning for The Voice. Don’t hold back just because you’re in a living room! 🎤 🕺
10. Go and make a difference.
Although the setting may be different, the mission stays the same. Continue to invest in one another at the close of the service, start conversations about what you’ve learned throughout the week, and find ways to serve others. Pray for God to give you opportunities to meet people where they need to be met. 🤲